PDS will begin school as scheduled, with all students on campus each day. The overall school calendar will remain as previously published.
Additional information regarding COVID-19 protocols at PDS as well as answers to some of the questions we have received.
An exposure is close contact with a COVID-19 positive person. Close contact is considered within 6 feet for 15 cumulative minutes or more with or without a mask. It is important to note that the 15 minutes is not cumulative. You do not count minutes and add them up over the course of the day.
Update 10/23/20: Added "cumulative"
The child will enter the quarantine room in the nurse’s office and an emergency contact will be called for him to be picked up within an hour. The quarantine room has a back exit and will have a quick exit to the outside. All symptomatic children need to be examined by their doctor, who will clinically assess as well as test for multiple conditions (flu, strep, RSV, etc). Depending on test results, the doctor may prescribe treatment or refer for COVID-19 testing. It is important to remember that children are much more likely to have a common cold than COVID-19.
The Tennessee Department of Health suggests the following symptoms are potentially COVID-19 symptoms and should apply to anyone attending or working in a school (i.e. children and adults in schools):
If the child with COVID-19 symptoms has a sibling at school, the sibling will be sent home at that time.
You should immediately contact PDS school nurse, Alice Ball, to inform PDS of the positive test results.
The child will be quarantined for a minimum of 10 days from the first sign of symptoms, and he must be symptom and fever free for at least 24 hours without medicine before returning to school. Any child returning to school from quarantine must coordinate with Alice Ball. No negative test is required to return to school.
If a student has a positive test but is asymptomatic, then the 10 day quarantine begins from the date of testing.
Any siblings should quarantine for 14 days since the last contact with the child testing positive. A sibling’s return to school should also be coordinated through Alice Ball.
Distance learning for your child will begin and continue through the end of the quarantine.
The child’s homeroom cohort and the homeroom teacher will quarantine during Tier 1.
PDS will identify and contact those who have been within 6 feet of the child for 15 minutes or more at any time within 48 hours prior to the student’s onset of symptoms until he has left the school property. Those students will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure.
Even if you choose to have your child tested and they test negative or feel healthy, the child should still quarantine for the full 14 days, because symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
There is no recommendation to do testing after an exposure unless the child develops symptoms. If symptoms develop, the child should be tested. If the child is positive, please contact Alice Ball.
Distance learning for that cohort will begin and continue through the end of the quarantine.
PDS will identify and contact those who have been within 6 feet of the child for 15 minutes or more at any time within 48 hours prior to the student’s onset of symptoms until the student has left the school property. Those students will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure.
If you are not contacted, your son was not exposed to the COVID-19 student.
The teacher’s homeroom cohort will quarantine for 14 days.
PDS will also identify and contact those who have been within 6 feet of the teacher for 15 minutes or more at any time within 48 hours prior to the teacher’s onset of symptoms until he or she has left the school property. Anyone with exposure will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from their last contact with the teacher.
PDS will identify and contact those who have been within 6 feet of the teacher for 15 minutes or more at any time within 48 hours prior to the individual’s onset of symptoms until the individual has left school property. Those individuals will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure to that individual.
If you are not contacted, your son was not exposed to the COVID-19 faculty or staff member.
We will notify the families within the cohort and anyone else who was within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more with the positive case. The positive case will not be identified by name. Alice Ball will notify the Shelby County Health Department of all positive cases per their protocol.
If you hear there has been a positive case at school and you have not been notified, your son was not exposed.
You should keep your child home from school while awaiting test results from anyone within the household. If the test is negative, the student can return to school. If the test is positive, the student should quarantine for 14 days from the last day he was exposed to the positive family member. If an additional family member gets sick with COVID-19, all negative family members must restart their quarantines.
If the child develops symptoms and tests positive, the child’s cohort and teacher will be notified and asked to quarantine for 14 days from the last day of contact with the child.
All positive tests within a PDS household should notify Alice Ball before coming to school so we can ensure there was no on-campus exposure.
Distance learning for the child and the cohort will begin and continue through the end of the quarantine.
In the event that an early childhood student requires distance learning, we will engage in age appropriate instruction required to meet instructional expectations. Every effort will be made to address the need to stay connected with classmates and teachers through Zoom activities as well as activities that will be completed through SeeSaw.
If an elementary student requires distance learning, we will engage the student in a combination of real-time (synchronous) learning experiences and some asynchronous assignments. As much as possible, a student’s day at home will mimic the on-campus class schedule. Students will use Zoom to be an active part of the classroom while receiving instruction from the classroom teacher and completing work simultaneously with on-campus students.
This model not only allows students the opportunity to continue sharing in classroom discussions but also provides an avenue for student collaboration. Specific grade-level plans will be shared during our Back-to-School Zoom Meetings. (Information about Back to School meetings will be sent in a separate communication.)
Parents, please note the following update to our mask policy regarding using gaiter masks:
While we understand that there are challenges to wearing masks, we will require students to wear one to school each day. Use of masks throughout the school day will vary by grade level and circumstances while in the classrooms. Masks are an important mitigation strategy for use in the halls and other times where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
The mask should be multi-layered, fit well, and stay in place. Valve masks should not be used, and we do not recommend gaiters as most are single layer. Student masks may be solid, patterned, or your favorite team logo. Masks may not be printed with slogans.
The PDS Family Emergency Fund has been established to provide emergency relief to families who have been affected by the coronavirus.
Families who have experienced the following situation due to COVID-19 should consider applying for funds:
PDS is actively planning to begin school in the fall.
The leadership team of PDS has remobilized into planning teams. The teams, listed below, meet weekly and have a total membership of over 30 people split into 6 teams. The chair of each team will report to the Leadership Team each week during June.
We are preparing for the close of the school year. As you know, instruction will continue through Thursday. We hope to see as many PDS families as possible on Friday from 11-12 at our end of the year parade. Next week we need to retrieve PDS owned items and give you belongings that remain at school. We want to be safe as we do this, and we have developed a plan.
It is unimaginable that two months ago, we were together in our main gym, watching the student-faculty basketball game and getting ready for spring break. Life has changed so much in the intervening weeks.
Dear PDS families,
As you know, I have been communicating with families on Mondays and Wednesdays during this time of distance learning. In light of Governor Lee’s announcement this past Wednesday regarding schools remaining closed in Tennessee and President Trump’s announcement yesterday about reopening the country, I wanted to provide the following information to you today.
Dear PDS parents,
Thank you for the love and patience you have shown during this unique time. We have been working at PDS over the past several days as we ready the school for the start of distance learning. I hope this letter will answer many of the questions you might have moving forward.
Thank you for your patience as PDS continues to monitor the spread of COVID–19 around the world and here in our community. As of this writing, many schools in our area have decided to close to help slow down the spread of the virus. Given all of the information at hand, PDS will not open as expected on Monday, March 16.
Dear PDS families,
PDS belongs to both regional and national associations of independent schools. Both organizations have been giving schools guidance, and I want to share that information with you.
As the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19) takes hold in more and more places around the world, I want to let you know that PDS is monitoring the situation very closely. Many resources have been made available to our school, and we are utilizing all information to help us make plans. Last night the National Association of Independent Schools held a special webinar to help schools understand and plan.
Presbyterian Day School (PDS) is a private, Christian preschool and elementary school serving 500 boys from 2-years-old through 6th grade.
With our mission of striving to glorify God by developing boys in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man, we take a holistic approach to education, nurturing the heart, soul, mind, and body of each boy.